Feb 03, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now the Cazenovia girls basketball team has reached a level where, if pressed by an opponent playing above its normal level, it can summon a gear that no one can touch.
Such was the case for the OHSL Liberty division-leading Lakers when it went to Hannibal last Tuesday nights and turned things up in the second half of a 60-31 victory over the Warriors, building its win streak to 10 games in the process.
All looked to be fine when Cazenovia took the early lead. But Hannibal tore through some defensive gaps in the second quarter, caught the Lakers in a brief dry spell, and pushed to a 23-22 halftime advantage.
Whatever head coach Paul Harney told his team at the break must have registered — for in the third quarter that followed, Hannibal didn’t even score a point.
Sufficiently awakened, Cazenovia’s defense shut all the doors and forced a string of turnovers that led to baskets on the other end. In all, the Lakers ran off 21 unanswered points in that frame, turning a possible trap into a trouncing.
Carrie Stevens continued to play a larger role in the offense, finishing with 17 points to complement Kiley Evans, who got 15 points. Molly Dougherty, Kassie Kleine and Rachel Hardke came up with eight points apiece. No Hannibal player scored in double figures, Tabby Svereika (nine points) coming closest.
Now the Lakers looked for its first-ever regular-season sweep against that other group of Warriors, from Westhill, on Saturday in a game pushed back 24 hours by a winter ice storm that shut down schools on Friday.
The delay did little to stop Cazenovia, though, as it started fast and never stopped running until it had run over Westhill 75-52 and made it 11 wins in a row.
Great Westhill teams of years past would jump all over opponents. Now it was the Lakers’ turn to do the same, scoring at will against an overmatched Warriors defense and building a 23-8 advantage in the first quarter alone.
By halftime, it was 41-19 in Cazenovia’s favor, and with Westhill star Carly Cooper held without a field goal by the stingy Laker defense, there would not be a comeback.
Evans, hitting on all kinds of shots (including a pair of 3-pointers), finished with 27 points, and whenever Westhill tried to key on her, Dougherty got open, hitting mid-range jumpers and earning 25 points.
Stevens again played a large part, with 12 points, as Hardke added seven points. Valerie Golembiewski (16 points) and Annie O’Connor (14 points) paced Westhill’s effort.
Now that 11-game win streak will be tested Monday night against Corcoran – the last team to beat the Lakers, back on Dec. 1. A Friday regular-season finale with Skaneateles will follow.